Hidden cameras reveal turkeys being brutally killed and suffering from festering wounds!
Our latest turkey farm investigation revealed shocking conditions found on an intensive farm supplying Avara Foods – one of the UK's largest poultry processors supplying major food retailers and restaurant chains. The Sun covered the story – reaching 1.4 million – revealing the terrible conditions found on Gravel Farm in Gloucestershire.
Gravel Farm was investigated by Viva! Campaigns' brave team, who filmed between September and November 2019.
Hidden cameras filmed one worker brutally killing birds with an inhumane neck crushing device – a practice that violates both Red Tractor and the Humane Slaughter Association’s guidelines. Birds were left to slowly die, gasping for breath for several minutes.
Sick and injured turkeys were abandoned with festering open wounds, broken wings, and severe respiratory distress. We witnessed two heavily pecked birds; their faces so swollen they could hardly open their eyes. These animals were left to die in agony.
Viva! Campaigns has investigated all major turkey suppliers over the years and this, sadly, is typical. Tragically almost all turkeys in the UK are factory farmed.
Viva! campaigns manager, Lex Rigby, urges consumers to choose veganism
We are absolutely thrilled by Red Tractor’s decision to drop Gravel Farm as a result of Viva!’s investigation. Our team witnessed appalling conditions, documenting the systematic abuse of farmed turkeys, whose short lives are filled with nothing but misery and pain. While some birds were ruthlessly killed with barbaric neck crushing devices others were left to die slow, agonising deaths from their injuries.
Although we congratulate Red Tractor on taking action against animal cruelty, we are once again left wondering why it is down to organisations like Viva! to continually expose the abhorrent conditions on factory farms. Red Tractor is a meaningless label, who will only terminate a farm’s membership when they are faced with yet another PR disaster, as Viva! Campaigns have shown time and time again.
Watch the video below. Warning: Graphic Content - viewer discretion is advised.
Veterinary Consultant, Dr Alice Brough, SLAMS farm that supplies Sainsbury's
We see extensive evidence of disease, pain and suffering on this unit. Feather pecking and cannibalism is widespread, and in some cases severe with raw open wounds, extreme swelling and bruising. This is despite the fact that the birds have been subjected to beak trimming mutilations in an attempt to curb this behaviour – a behaviour that stems from environmental conditions failing to meet the basic needs of the animal, indicative of poor welfare.
There is a failure by stockpeople to identify issues and deal with them appropriately. There is no evidence shown over the period of filming that any of the birds moved to segregation pens receive treatment for injuries or disease; the stockperson is not seen to apply topical treatment or administer injectable or oral medication. The feeders and drinkers are not separate from the lines supplying the rest of the sheds and therefore it is unlikely that feed or water medication is given.
The device used for euthanasia is inappropriate for the weight of bird and is not recommended by the Humane Slaughter Association under any circumstances. One attempt at euthanasia leaves a turkey conscious and sensible to pain with crushed vertebrae, and despite the stockperson kicking her to check, there is no attempt made to rectify his mistake before leaving the pen. What we see in this footage is incredibly disturbing and shows a categorical disregard for animal welfare.
Gravel Farm annually produces over 33,000 turkeys and prior to our investigation was endorsed by Red Tractor. The depressing scenes our investigators filmed reiterate the fact that "regulatory" bodies such as Red Tractor are nothing but a façade for the horrendous, brutal and cruel reality of intensive factory farming in this country.
Together, we can end animal suffering!
Viva! is funded entirely by donations and so by supporting our turkey appeal, you're helping us continue to make waves across the industry – until we end factory farming once and for all.
Yours for the animals,